Express Lanes Planned for Highway 85

By George Kiriyama
|  Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014  |  Updated 11:27 PM PDT
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Transit officials are planning to turn Highway 85's carpool lane into an express lane solo drivers can use for a fee. George Kiriyama reports.

Transit officials are planning to turn Highway 85's carpool lane into an express lane solo drivers can use for a fee. George Kiriyama reports.

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Transit officials are planning to turn Highway 85's carpool lane into an express lane solo drivers can use for a fee.

The idea has brought controversy with commuters who use the highway daily.

"Unless it was extremely congested in the other two lanes and I had to get somewhere quickly, then I probably would," Michelle Hott said of using the planned express lane.

Michael Fielding said he doesn't like the idea of paying to drive. He said he already pays enough in gasoline and taxes.

"I think it's crazy. It's just a money revenue digger," Fielding said. "Anything you can think of getting more money out of car drivers that already pay a lot to drive on these roads."

Valley Transportation Agency Engineer Murali Ramanujam said the money raised from the express lane would go back to Highway 85.

"What it does is provide funds back to the same corridor where you can actually use it," he said. "Use it for operations and maintenance for the future corridor."

The plan is to convert the carpool lane on the 27-mile stretch from South San Jose to Mountain View and turn them into express lanes. Some areas will have double-express lanes.

VTA officials the express lanes will improve traffic flow and ease congestion.

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